Struggling with Depression

I am taking a break from writing about fun stuff like failed relationships, RVing, reality TV and my hatred of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I’m going to discuss my life a bit and a one-time battle I had with what I figure is depression. I’m going to tell you what I believed triggered it, what happened while I was fully into it and what got me out of it.

I had a telephone discussion with an ex. Mistake because she blames me leaving her for the misery she finds herself in these days. In fact, she finds great pleasure in letting me know all the crap she’s been through is not a result of her refusal to work full time like us savages, but due to the lack of support I gave her. Ok. Normally that wouldn’t  bother me, but this session was different. She blamed me for her not having any children. She told me she wanted to have three children and now she’s too old to have any (she is).

That made me feel bad. Then I thought sticking around her essentially ended my family line. She didn’t say so, but getting pregnant would have been difficult for her. And the fact of the matter is if she truly wanted to have a kid, we would have. Bottom line, you generally start kids with intercourse, and we weren’t having it. At least not with each other.

Anyway, I thought more about it until I could barely do anything. I would go to work, come home and get right into bed. I would lay there and let these “waves of blue” crash into me. Only after talking to a friend did I realize what was happening. She suggested I go see a therapist, which I did not. I was barely functioning but hardly anyone knew.

What got me through it? My cats. I did not always like cats. In fact, I never wanted to be around them. My cats took care of me. One of our cats would curl up next to me while I was in the fetal position. He would sleep next to me and purr. Our other cat, the anti social one, soon became much more friendly. Before long, both of them would come upstairs, get next to me and purr while my life was going into the tank.

Thats why I’m going to cry like a baby when my cats go. I really really owe them.

What snapped me out? Nothing in particular except a desire to get out of the pity party. I did. It was time to stop feeling sorry for myself and start doing something.

Not everyone can do that. Hardly anyone can do that. It’s very hard. Depression is a mo—- f—-r. It can hurt you badly.

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Long Time

Once again, I haven’t posted in a long time. Lots of family stuff happening. I’ll fix that shortly.

I do have to mention, politics is inundating the country. It’s difficult to write nowadays without bringing that crap into people’s lives.

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RV Water & Power Setup

Just wanted to show my RV water and power setup, for observation and comments.

The orange hose connects for the black tank flush. It’s an orange hose to distinguish it from a hose for drinking water. The power cable (30A) connects to the Progressive Industries box (below), keeping our power connection safe. Yes, that is a chain and a lock on the box. At $300, I can’t afford for it to go anywhere.

Our water setup is a little complicated. I connected almost everything for these photos, but the city water isn’t actually “on” in this instance.

We have a short hose connecting to the splitter (Y) for the tank flush, and for city water. The orange hose connects before the RV water intake, which I have filtered after the Y for this purpose. The orange hose normally has a back flow preventer, which I didn’t put on for the photo. In any case, I have the water filter, a superior water filter for the RV intake. The water filter canister is a Hydro Life. This item and the associated filter (C-2063) are pretty expensive but they make water taste great. We can actually drink the water from the tap, even though we rarely do so. We do wash our dishes with city water, meaning it must be filtered. The stand is to stabilize the water filter.

I recommend getting the best sewer hose you can get, meaning a heavy duty one — a Camco. We are using an old sewer hose because when it starts to leak, we can toss it. I have a heavy duty one, but it’s not going full ops until the old one gets a leak. I also recommend the metal folding stand for the sewer hose. It takes up about the same amount of room in storage while providing more stability.

We are having a cold snap now. That in mind, I drained the hot water heater. I also drained the fresh water tank. Not only that, I opened the back hoses … the ones at the lowest point in the vehicle … so I could drain all the water in the vehicle. I wanted to pump some antifreeze into the lines, but I didn’t have any at the moment. I’m actually not sure how to pump it into the lines.

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Black Sunday for Jack Del Rio

In Steve Corchran’s book, “Al Davis: Behind the Raiders Shield“, he makes note of Davis’ affinity to ESPN analyst Mel Kiper Jr’s draft guide over that of his own scouts.

Apparently, his son, Mark Davis has affinity for ESPN’s Jon Gruden.

Yesterday, after the Raiders lost their season finale against the Chargers, Mark Davis relieved Jack Del Rio of his coaching responsibilities. It was a move Del Rio earned with some questionable coaching decisions. At the end of the 2016 season, Del Rio did not bring back offensive coordinator Bill Musgrave, who had the Raiders 6th overall on offense. Instead, he promoted quarterbacks coach Todd Downing, who had never run an offense. The move Del Rio was expected to make, relieving Ken Norton Jr of his defensive coordinator’s role, did not occur. The Oakland defense was consistently among the worst in the league, with key players underperforming, until Norton was fired deep into the 2017 season. Del Rio, meanwhile blamed the players for poor play throughout the season, including Derek Carr, the quarterback responsible for winning 12 games in 2016.

Like many Raiders fans, I’ll question the apparent desire to bring back Jon Gruden. Gruden has been in the broadcast booth for almost a decade. Success for coaches brought back for a second tour of duty with a franchise is not good. Joe Gibbs is a Hall of Famer and his second stint with the Redskins was forgettable. There’s a feel that if this tour doesn’t go well, the Raiders will be stuck with Gruden for a long time. That is, if Gruden takes the job. The prevailing feeling is, Del Rio would not have been fired if Gruden hadn’t already agreed to take the job.

The one sticking point is Reggie McKenzie. The Raiders GM helped bring the Raiders back to respectability from a financial point of view, as well as selecting Raiders superstars Khalil Mack and Derek Carr. Raiders likely would not have been in position to make the Vegas move without restoration of financial well-being. Gruden apparently does not want to work with McKenzie, which had been an issue in prior Raiders appeals to Gruden. Gruden appears to want a rubber stamp in the front office. If push comes to shove, McKenzie will depart and Gruden will get his rubber stamp, but I think some accommodation will occur. Of note in Corchran’s book, Gruden didn’t want Charles Woodson. IIRC, Woodson’s a Hall of Famer. I don’t want Gruden in total control of the roster. He wanted Johnny Manziel over Khalil Mack. That’s why I remain leery of Gruden.

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Where Has The Blog Been?

Right now, I’m in an United jet above Arkansas, on my way back to Texas. I’m coming back from a hugely depressing business trip. Not like we’re going out of business, but it sure seems like it.

I’m not even sure I’ve addressed some of the goings on in the recent past. We RVed up to Glacier National Park/Waterton Park in September. The region experienced many forest fires; we decided to leave early for Yellowstone.

Glacier National Park, early September

We camped off the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, at Moran. Flagg Ranch is without internet access, a great thing unless you’re a Twitter addict. It’s not a good thing if you’re a blogger, either. It is a lot of fun if you’re into photography like I am. While Yellowstone is undoubtedly the more scenic park, Grand Teton has a great appeal for me due to its undeniable scenic beauty.

Moran, WY

I also went out to California to see the Raiders play the Giants. I wanted to see them play the Cowboys but CowboysFan was willing to pay up to $400 a ticket to see their officials steal a game from the Raiders. We saw a Giants team without Eli Manning starting at QB. The one time in 216 games.

I also had an episode with my back in early November. I was supposed to make a site visit to a location in the northeast. I aggravated a disc problem to such a degree I had to report to the emergency room. While there, I asked them to do back surgery that day. I suggested cutting off my back to relieve the pain. On a level of 1 -10, I rated my pain a 9. It was worse than the kidney stone I had at Warner Robins. I guessed the only thing worse was an amputation. They gave me two shots, one of a drug called Torodol (or something like that). The pain subsided to a manageable level. I’m scheduled for an MRI next week.

One more thing: I know this from having traveled across the nation. Everyone in the country is angry. People who were already angry, their anger hasn’t subsided, and people who weren’t angry sure as hell are now. If that is news, turn from your news channel.

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The Lastros No More

main image

(Photo: Major League Baseball)

Last night, the Houston Astros won the 2017 World Series, just like Sports Illustrated predicted in June of 2014. They defeated the Los Angeles Dodgers, 5-1 in Game 7. They got over the hump, with Dallas Keuchel, Jason Verlander and Lance McCullers getting them nearly to the top of the mountain, and Charlie Morton pushing them all the way to the summit.

The Astros are not the “Lastros” anymore. Not only that, the Astros are not even close to done. Unlike so many teams designed to make a single championship run, the Astros are here long-term. Players like George Springer, Jose Altuve (the soon-to-be American League MVP) and Carlos Correa are an excellent — and now battle hardened — core of youth the Astros have accumulated. This is pretty much the same team that fell to Kansas City — another team thought to have been built to go the distance repeatedly — two years ago.

If you’ve been listening to media coverage of the 2017 World Series, you’d think the Astros had no shot of winning this series, even though they were the better team. Many broadcasters were showing their open bias towards the Dodgers. Now they are taking cheap shots at the Dodgers.

We at BSP actually like Clayton Kershaw; he’s a pretty cool cat. The thing that turned us off with this year’s addition of the Dodgers was watching this guy Joc Pederson circle the bases for several hours in the Dodgers 3-1 win in Game Six.


(Photo credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea, USA TODAY Sports)

Asshat. Any other team except the Yankees, Mets, Cubs or maybe the Angels the media would be saying what a pure jerk this guy is. But he’s on the Dodgers, ESPN’s home team. It’s PURE ENTHUSIASM. Moron.

I suggested to one of my colleagues that in the Good Old Days, the next batter would get 95 mph in the ribs. Unfortunately, this isn’t the Good Old Days, and being Game 6 in the World Series … in a game you’re still trying to win … you can’t start drilling guys.

The Astros appeared not to have a problem with it. “He was happy he hit a homer,” Astros second baseman Jose Altuve said. “I’d do the same thing.” But Altuve celebrated tonight despite going hitless. Mr. Tour of the Bases goes home tonight with no victory and no celebration. At least he has video of himself hitting a now-meaningless home run to comfort himself all winter.

To end this on a high note, we have Carlos Beltran, celebrating his first and only World Series championship after 20 major league seasons. Congratulations to Carlos and the Astros. Well done, gentlemen.


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Some of you know I have some property, some RAW land in South Texas. The land used to be pasture, until the owner died and his children took over. They weren’t interested in the property so they ended up selling it in relatively large plots from 10 to 14 acres.

Along comes BSP and purchases one of those plots. 

We’ve had it for several years, as that’s the location of our future dream home. In the meantime, we do some dry camping there. Meaning we have to carry our water and power to the property. 

What I’m going to write about tonight is RV power management in this situation. As you know, there are multiple methods of powering parts of our RV. We have a 30 amp system, which means we have:

120 volt power supply

120 volt AC system

12 volt battery

12 volt DC system

Power converter

The 120 volt power supply ordinarily comes from a pedestal in a RV park. We use a generator when we go RVing. We believe it is impossible to consistently dry camp in South Texas without a generator that supplies 23-30 amps, because you can’t run your A/C. However, the weather has cooled here so we can use our smaller generator. We needed our heater this past weekend. 

120 volt power supply runs fun stuff like your RV power outlets, some of your lighting, and your TV / stereo. It also charges, through use of your converter, your battery.  120volt generator  power can run your refrigerator and  water heater, but you typically don’t want to do that on a short stay.  I learned about the TV this morning when our little generator ran out of fuel. Doh!

The 12 volt DC supply is a necessity. 12 volt can run the more power intensive items on your trailer. Examples of these are the overhead ceiling lights, the refrigerator, heater & water heater. You can purchase a device called an inverter. The inverter allows you to convert 12 volt DC power to 120 volt AC power. We aren’t going to write much about that since we don’t yet have one.

The big thing I learned on this trip is you do not need to have your generator running all night! You can shut your generator off at night when the weather cools off. Your heater can run off the 12VDC. So, you can save on fuel and money. Side items I learned were the use of a 3000 watt power inverter is infintely  more desirable than a 2200 Watt generator, because we don’t have to swap them out dependent on the  weather. Another option is running two  2000 Watt generators in parallel. This can be costly”

The converter converts 120 VC to 12VDC so those parts of the vehicle  requiring 12 volts DC can still run.

The RV power system is really well thought out. It is quite versatile.

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Spare Kit: An Essential of RVing

We’ve been doing this RV thing for about 3 years now. I’ve learned there can be a situation you just didn’t account for. An example of this is when my wife and I went on a tour of the local area in Kerrville TX. When we came back, we tried to enter the travel trailer but couldn’t. Apparently the lock seized up and we couldn’t unlock it! 

It was no fun breaking into our own trailer. We learned how hard it is to break in while trying to avoid damaging the vehicle. When my wife got in, we still couldn’t unlock the door! Eventually she unscrewed the lock from the inside and we installed the spare door lock.

Wait a minute. The spare door lock?

You bet. I knew that lock was a piece o crap nearly from Day 1 so I bought a spare door lock via I carried it in our bin o’ spares so we had it just in case. What is in our bin o’ spares? Here’s a partial list:

– 15’ sewage hose and connectors

– black water tank drop ins

– hand crank for leveling screws

– automatic battery float charger

– 25’ drinking water hose

– 1.5 volt solar panel

– rubber gloves

– spare fuses (15, 30 & 40amp) *

– clamps (no purpose yet, but available if needed)

– water regulator

* – new addition

There’s probably about $250 worth of stuff in there, but I’ve used almost all of it. In fact, the old spare sewage hose is the new sewage hose. You should be very selective in picking a sewage hose, because the last thing you want is a sewage hose that fails. For BSP’s RV, we now use Rhino sewage hoses I purchased on I get nothing from for saying so but they generally have good prices. Walmart has good prices of course; I think I have everything in their RV section but sometimes they go out of stock.

Spare fuses. At this point, I realized I didn’t know the electrical system very well. I discovered this little fact when we stopped at Buffalo, Wyoming. Buffalo is a town in big letters on a map, but in truth it is tiny. We determined we would leave the vehicle hitched instead of disconnecting and reconnecting in 10 hours. So my wife tried to operate the slide out. It didn’t work. The battery gauge said the battery was totally discharged, which upset us since the battery was new. We had been driving all day so the battery should have been fully charged. I opened the spares kit, plugged up the battery charger and started charging the battery. I reconnected it then operated the slide out for a few seconds before it went dead again. I was exasperated, then I thought about the fuses. Was a fuse blown?

Yes. I pulled out the two 40 amp fuses, both were blown. I figured I needed 40 amp fuses so I asked the RV park manager. They didn’t sell 40 amp fuses but he told me about an O’Reilly Auto parts down the road. I was relieved. He then told me:

“They might close early. It’s a holiday (Labor Day).”

Uh oh. Remember I said Buffalo is tiny? 

Of course it was closed. It had closed at 6 pm and it was now 7:30 pm. So I went to the truck stop next door. They had no 40 amp fuses so I bought a 30 amp pack.  

I told my wife it was a long shot; I thought the 30 amp fuses would blow immediately but it was worth a try. I inserted the fuses and the RV immediately powered up. Success! And another addition to our spare kit. We will never travel without those fuses in our spare box.

A spare kit is an absolute necessity. Build a spare kit out of things you use which may fail, forget or even get stolen. I had a bumper cover, one of those plastic things fitting over the bumper opening, get stolen at an overnight stop Amarillo. I had made a spare from the original so I just slipped it on the next day before we left.

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